With the room prepared, it was time to install the tokonoma or the raised dais section of the room. I had been given some small pieces of olive tree wood and wanted to use this as the column support for the tokonoma. Usually you can use a small branch or just plain wood as I did in the first two rooms but I wanted this column to reflect a little where this house is being built. I know that it is quite improbable that Japan would use olive wood for a column as I suspect it’s not quite hard enough to support walls and would be more decorative but I liked the idea none the less.
The piece of wood was rustic with some bark still attached. I was keen on keeping that section of bark intact somewhat but the shaping needed cutting and sanding to adapt to the rest of the installation. I used a small saw and my electric sander to get the piece down to a certain point. Then I just had to figure out the best position to show off the wood and the bark. To do that, I had to move ahead with making the wall pieces that are attached to the column. I covered them with some leftover tatami mat and then tested them against the column. Once I decided on the side I wanted to be viewed, I notched the column where the wall pieces would fit. This took a while but eventually I got them to fit in.
|Original kit column piece and the piece of olive wood.|
|Cutting and shaping the wood.|
|Nearly finished. Just have to fit to size.|
|Two ceiling pieces that get inserted into the olive column|
|Olive column now notched for the ceiling pieces.|
|How the pieces in theory will fit.|
In the meantime, I had to prepare the raised dais which needed painting (black) varnishing and sanding much like before. Once I got through various layers of varnish and sanding, I then waxed this piece as well. I also did the same to the olive wood column until it had a nice shine.
Now in a perfect world, everything should fit but it doesn’t really. It took some coaxing and sawing off of the wall pieces to have this section fit into the room. The olive column is larger than the actual kit piece so it causes the wall pieces to be too long or too high. I eventually got them in place although some bits of tatami came away in the process. I replaced some but since I liked the idea of a rustic unkempt inn (something I’ve been leaning towards since the beginning of this build) I just left some bits exposed. Needless to say, only 6 days later was I able to start playing with more embellishments in the room.
|Small tokonoma dais installed as well as the dividing wall.|
|Overnite clamping and coaxing the pieces in|
|Blue bird on the left, wicker cage painted black.|
|Adding some newspaper in the bottom of the cage|
|Painting the cage bronze|
|Unhappy bird in the cage.|
|Painting all the tiny cabinet pieces.|
|Sorting them out with the covered cabinet doors. Tedious.|
Long chapter but pretty satisfying.
|Finished tokonoma. LED peeking thru on the left.|
|View of the olive grain in the wood.|